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Thread: Affordable Housing Crisis

  1. #1
    Alphonso Smith
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    Affordable Housing Crisis

    This piece outlines the problem and contains some data and graphics, including a map os searchable metro areas ranked by the percentage of local/regional affordability.

    The New Housing Crisis: Shut Out Of The Market


    This Vox “Card Stack” (i hate this format) outlines some basic concepts.

    Everything you need to know about the affordable housing debate


    This piece discusses the problem and I’ll highlight from it the portion on “municipal housing”.

    Opinion: Kamala Harris has a terrible idea to lower the high cost of renting

    Municipal housing

    That’s where municipal housing comes in. Taking inspiration from the successes of city-owned and/or city-operated housing in Europe, the People’s Policy Project is calling for 10 million new municipal housing units to be built in the United States in the next 10 years.

    Don’t misunderstand; this isn’t your typical U.S. public housing, which is open only to the poor. Such housing — “the projects” — concentrates poverty in some neighborhoods, creating all sorts of bad side effects.

    The new approach would locate municipal housing throughout the city and be open to people of all incomes, all ages, all races. That would reduce the stigma of public housing and making it self-sustaining. It would be a true public option, equivalent to the private housing stock.

    Yes, such housing would require a modest public subsidy, but remember that all that single-family housing in the suburbs is heavily subsidized as it is. Municipal housing in Vienna, Austria, rents for about 15% of what an apartment in Manhattan costs, the study says.

    “Today, our housing policy bears a marked resemblance to our health-care policy: an expensive Band-Aid over a gaping hole, left by the absence of a public-sector alternative,” according to Peter Gown and Ryan Cooper, the authors of the People’s Policy Project report.


    Our cities are dynamic engines for capitalism, but their growth is limited by the inability of lower-income people to live there. Who is going to pour the coffee, drive the Ubers, teach the children, and protect the public safety if working-class and middle-class workers can’t afford the rent?

    The cost of housing is a social, political and economic problem, but it’s not insurmountable as long as we don’t settle for foolish half measures, like giving renters a tax break, or allowing our most dynamic cities to become strictly enclaves of the wealthy.
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    “If you want to lower the price of housing, you need to build more housing. This is basic microeconomics: If the supply of something is scarce relative to demand, the price will go up. If you want to lower the rents, you need to increase the supply of housing. (Alternatively, you could try to reduce the demand, but we already have too many homeless people.)”

    Sigh. There’s plenty of housing supply already. The demand is basically infinite.

  3. #3
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    Too many damned people on this planet requiring housing. Population control NOW !

  4. #4
    Alphonso Smith
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    Lol

    Tagged wants me to make a “point”.

    Point is we seem to have an affordable housing crisis (both owning and renting).

    So I started this thread to solicit a discussion about ways to address the problem. I won’t pretend any expertise in this area.

    I tend to agree that subsidizing rent payments might help some to be able to afford to pay rent, but will only escalate the cost of renting/housing.

    I like the idea of planning (nice, livable) affordable development in cities and along public transport (and developing this) lines. And municipal housing sounds like an idea worth exploring.
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  5. #5
    Alphonso Smith
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    Tagger (can’t edit)
    I love mankind...it’s people I can’t stand!!

  6. #6
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    Subsidized rent is definitely a bad idea.

    The article talks about this being a city problem not a rural one. That’s true. But it’s a city problem and potentially a rural solution. Support high speed rail that links cities to rural areas 60+ minutes away where the housing is already affordable. They can attract small businesses there with strong infrastructure like schools and high speed internet.

  7. #7
    Thanks for starting this discussion. It seems to be a natural continuation of some of the discussion that happened in the Pit thread about NYC and gentrification. I don't have a lot of time this morning to read the OP articles, but wanted to share some recent stuff that I've been thinking about.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0b15aba88c7b0

    According to the municipality, 62 percent of Vienna’s citizens currently live in social housing. Here, rents are regulated and tenants’ rights are strongly protected. In contrast, less than 1 percent of America’s population lives in public housing, which is limited to low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities.
    In fact, the extent of Vienna’s subsidized housing makes it one of the most affordable major cities in the world. According to the GBV, the average monthly rent paid by those living in government-subsidized housing is $470 for city council tenants and $600 for housing association tenants, with monthly assistance payments available to those struggling to meet housing costs. On average, tenants in Vienna spend 27 percent of their income on rent.

    In contrast, a StreetEasy study found that the median asking rent in New York City was expected to reach $2,700 in 2015, amounting to 58.4 percent of median income in the city.
    Here is an article about how HGTV and the house-flipping industry participate in the boom or bust cycle.

    http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/the-u...tasy-loop.html

    And here is a policy proposal from the People's Policy Project on social housing:

    https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org...ocial-housing/

    Many American cities face a severe shortage of affordable housing — and not just for the poor, but well up into the upper-middle class. A recent report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies concluded: “The rental market thus appears to be settling into a new normal where nearly half of renter households are cost burdened,” or paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent.

    What these cities need is a dramatic increase in the number of mid-range and affordable dwellings to ease the price pressure on their rental markets. They should address the problem directly: by constructing a large number of government-owned municipal housing developments. Unlike traditional American public housing, all city residents will be eligible to live there.

    There are two major benefits to this approach. First, it adds new rental capacity in the housing market directly where it is needed. By greatly expanding the supply of mid-range and affordable units, it will both accommodate more residents and make existing privately-owned apartments cheaper. (New developments should never destroy existing functional housing through “slum clearance,” instead the objective should be to expand supply by building on existing city-owned land.)

  8. #8
    Has anyone read Evicted by Matthew Desmond? I haven't read it yet but have a copy.

  9. #9
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    That's less than half the battle.

  10. #10
    Dickie Hemric
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Subsidized rent is definitely a bad idea.
    Most of the top 10 "best cities to live in" have some form of subsidized rent (combined with strict rent caps and locked-in inflation adjusted year over year increases).

    I'm biased living in what is generally regarded as the highest quality of life city in the world (Vienna) and a huge reason why is because of the massive investment in public housing, subsided rent and strict rental caps. 62% of all people in the city receive some form of public housing benefit. And it works wonderfully.

  11. #11
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    Sure, it may work in Europe with strict controls, but it definitely would not work in the US.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    Sure, it may work in Europe with strict controls, but it definitely would not work in the US.
    Why not?

  13. #13
    Alphonso Smith
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    From one of the articles, a shortage of labor to build is one factor that eschalates the costs of developing housing.

    So...a robust guest-worker program? Or “autonomous architecture” (see the first page of this gallery: 12 new tech terms you need to understand the future)
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  14. #14
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    Why don't some of you people just move to Europe ? I mean, that's what vad did.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHBDemon View Post
    Why not?
    For the reasons stated in the article, landlords will just raise rent or work around the laws or break the laws to negatively impact renters and challenge the laws in court.

    Public housing makes more sense although I wouldn't be in favor of building a lot of new housing.

  16. #16
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    In LA one of the major issues is the planning departments are understaffed. It takes years to get projects approved and that just increases the costs and lowers the supply.
    just drivin' round in John Voight's car

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    “If you want to lower the price of housing, you need to build more housing. This is basic microeconomics: If the supply of something is scarce relative to demand, the price will go up. If you want to lower the rents, you need to increase the supply of housing. (Alternatively, you could try to reduce the demand, but we already have too many homeless people.)”

    Sigh. There’s plenty of housing supply already. The demand is basically infinite.
    No there's not. Housing starts are terrible and have been for a long time.

  18. #18
    the affordable housing problem is really just a symptom of an income inequality problem

  19. #19
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    Affordable Housing Crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffaloDeac10 View Post
    No there's not. Housing starts are terrible and have been for a long time.
    There are plenty of empty homes that are already built.

    Juice is correct. Address income and wealth inequality and housing takes care of itself.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDeac View Post
    There are plenty of empty homes that are already built.

    Juice is correct. Address income and wealth inequality and housing takes care of itself.
    What if housing is a way to address income and wealth inequality?

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